Congratulations you’re getting married soon, but wait, you still haven’t found the perfect wedding band, not to worry! In most cases, many people choose to do most of their wedding shopping online, that includes the wedding dress, wedding favors, invitations and even wedding bands, not only is it more convenient, it’s sometimes a great choice for those who are on a budget.
Many online stores now have a broad selection of wedding bands to choose from, diamonds, gemstones, red ruby, white gold, yellow gold, platinum, classic to contemporary, the choices are endless. If you’re stuck on what to choose, there’s even customer service representatives to help and guide you throughout the process of picking the ring. Now that you’ve found your perfect match, it’s time to seal your love with the perfect wedding ring.
Tradition today states that when a couple is engaged to be married, the intended groom should purchase a ring that is approximately worth approximately 25% of his annual income. According to abcnews.com, the current average cost for a wedding ring in the United States is almost $5,500. With many unable to pay such a large percentage of their salary toward a ring, it may be beneficial to remember that what brides to be may expect today has not always been the norm. Here are some wedding ring styles and prices throughout history that may give peace of mind to those who may be in a financial pinch.
Third Century Rome is credited with having the first known engagement ring. These rings bore almost no resemblance to the gold and diamond combinations of today. Instead, they were designed to look like a key and were made out of brass, iron or even bronze. The reason for this type of ring is said to be the fact that ancient Romans believed that marriage unlocked a new life for the bride to be. Some of these “key rings” were also provided as a way to unlock gifted jewelry boxes.
The first recorded time a diamond stone was given in a wedding ring was in Vienna in 1477. This was done by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. The fact that he had provided a diamond ring for his bride created a tradition that many would follow, simply because of his importance in the country. Because of the Archduke’s engagement gift, it then became tradition for many who were of higher social standing to give diamond rings to the people they loved as well.
During the Victorian era, jewelry was often inspired by nature. Gold was commonly used and artists spent time carving delicate and intricate designs into the metal. Engagement rings often contained mixtures of diamonds and other gemstones. One common type of Victorian engagement ring was known as a “poesy ring.” These were carefully made into the shape of beautiful and intricate flowers.
The discovery of several diamond mines in South Africa in 1870 began a price shift that changed who was able to afford diamond engagement rings. As the supply increased, prices declined and diamonds became more prevalent in both the United States and Europe. Both World War I and the Great Depression had a negative impact on the number of diamond engagement rings that were worn and sold. Many, during these difficult years were forced to struggle for the basic necessities of life and could ill afford any type of jewelry. A major marketing campaign was launched in 1938 by De Beers which was a diamond cartel. This was done in hopes of encouraging people to begin purchasing diamonds once again. Their slogan “a diamond is forever” is still used to advertise diamond engagement rings and even wedding bands today.
Looking into the history of engagement rings often helps young couples decide just what they want their wedding ring to say about them. For some, it is important that the ring shows that a potential groom was willing to pay a large amount of money for his bride. Other couples decide to choose a ring patterned after a favorite era in history. History would seem to teach that the type of ring is not actually what matters, only that there is a ring.